Set in Nevada in the 1860's, Bonanza chronicled the adventures of the Cartwright family who owned a large ranch called The Ponderosa. Ben Cartwright and his three sons, Adam, Hoss, and Joe fought for what was just and decent in a time where lawlessness was common.
Run time 49:24Producer NBCAudio/Visual sound, color
The widowed patriarch Ben Cartwright had three sons, each by a different wife: the oldest was the urbane architect Adam Cartwright, who built the ranch house. The second was the warm and lovable giant Eric, better known by his nickname "Hoss." And the youngest was the hotheaded and impetuous Joseph or "Little Joe." They all lived and worked on The Ponderosa. Nearby Virginia City helped populate the episodes with guest starring characters from all over America.
Broadcast between September 1959 and January 1973. Filmed by the National Broadcasting Company at Paramount Studios.
The show opens with the Virginia City bank being robbed. One of the robbers - Sam Kirby - gets hired on at the Ponderosa to keep the others abreast of the search activity while they wait for things to die down. All the Cartwrights but Joe think Sam is okay. Joe has his suspicions about Kirby and decides to find out the truth on his own.
September 15, 2012
Classic Bonanza episode
A rip-roaring start to season two. With a bank robbery, a picnic, a punch-up and a climatic shoot-out, we can't really expect much more from this action-packed episode. Great bucking bronco scenes too. All of the Cartwright brothers get the usual helping of good-humoured scenes, but perhaps the guest stars steal the show. With yet another troubled young man and a really convincing bad guy, it all amounts to an absolutely classic Bonanza episode with the hallmark great plot that just draws the viewer in until the end.
Only minor disappointment is that it ends too soon. I would have liked to know what happened to Sam Kirby. The young man might have done right in the end, and I'm sure the intended message was that he would have been pardoned, but would everyone really have trusted him again? After all he was himself one of the bank robbers - I can't help but ponder if that would not still be deserving of some punishment? After all in real life I don't think we'd be forgiven if we brought the money back just because we got caught! Still, this is what I love about Bonanza, when it actually makes me think about the moral questions raised. Overall, Recommended.